Groundhog Day


Phil was finally dead.
I had been in service to that fool for what felt like eons but I remember the day well, it all began on February 2, 1886 as the humans label time.
On that day, a witch whose true name I never learned (may she languish in agony in the Pit until I can return to torture her personally) lay out a circle of salt and blood and chanted ancient words of power, summoning me.
Being only a lesser demon of the first circle I could not manifest independently upon the Earth, I needed a vessel and the witch provided one, a lowly groundhog.
I never found out what the crone wished from me because when I manifested in my shadowy splendor she lay upon the ground dead. I cannot say if it was good luck or foul that her skirts broke the circle allowing me to depart confinement. Her fall freed me from bondage to that spot but the horror of the situation thrust itself upon me when the vessel crawled from the crone’s hut into the streets of the town, dragging me behind it’s furred posterior.
The creature waddled into the waiting hands of one of the town’s elders who swept it up into the air, displaying him to the assembled crowd.
“Our prognosticator has come,” he shouted. “Tell me oh oracle, shall the spring arrive soon or not?”
The fool spoke to the rodent as if it could reply. I was so angry with my plight that I whispered into the human’s soul in my fury.
“Ice and blight upon you and yours, human.”
The human’s face crumpled with his sorrow, it made my black heart beat faster to see such a sight.
“The oracle has declared that winter shall remain yet awhile.”
Perhaps, I thought, I would now be free of my bondage but it was not to be. The human thrust the rodent into a cage and carried it to his lodge.
There I languished, tied to this base creature. Without the witch to dismiss me, I was irrevocably tied to this vessel. I waited for it to die; only then would I truly be free, but the beast lived.
Years passed yet the creature lived on. Somehow, perhaps it was the spell, perhaps the mere presence of my demonic energy sustained the monster – for monster he was. You do not know the horror of being bound to a creature that lives in the dirt and allows parasites to live upon its skin. Even the tortures of the Pit were nothing compared to being the vassal of a rodent.
Each year on the anniversary of my binding the humans returned to question their oracle. The humans changed over the decades, yet I remained as did the beast.
When pulled into the light, I would curse them with winter although at times I must admit I lay in a funk and did not rouse when the rodent was extracted and the spring would come early to the humans.
But today, a day which I shall cherish for the rest of eternity, the unbelievable occurred-the beast which they named Phil has died and I am free.
I can hear the humans gathered in their masses in the square, awaiting the revelations of their rat. I will lurk in the darkness a bit longer with the corpse of my jailer until they come for him.
Such joy will fill my dark soul when the humans open the cage and see the rotting vermin. Only then shall I leap upon them.
They thought that six additional weeks of winter was a curse? I shall bring a century, nay, an eon of winter upon these mortals.
Phil is dead, and winter shall live eternal.

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